Ohio State Flag
Ohio State Seal
is a Midwestern state in the northeastern corner of the United
States. It was the first and eastern-most state in the Midwest admitted
to the Union under the Northwest Ordinance. Its U.S. postal abbreviation
is OH; its old-style abbreviation is O. Ohio
is an Iroquois word meaning "great water." The name refers
to the Ohio River that forms its southern border.
The U.S. Navy has
named several ships USS Ohio in honor of this state.
- % water
116,096 km² (34th)
- Total (2000)
107.05 /km² (9th)
1, 1803, declared retroactively on August 7, 1953
80°32'W to 84°49'W
located in the northeastern corner of the United
States' Midwest region, Ohio
is located on Lake Erie, is connected by major highways and borders
several states. Ohio's southern border is defined by the Ohio River
(with the border being at the 1793 low-water mark on the north side
of the river), and much of the northern border is defined by Lake Erie.
It borders Pennsylvania
on the east, Michigan in
the northwest near Toledo,
Ontario, Canada across
Lake Erie to the north, Indiana
to the west, Kentucky on
the south, and West Virginia
on the southeast.
Much of Ohio
features glaciated plains, with an exceptionally flat area in the northwest
being known as the Great Black Swamp. This glaciated region in the northwest
and central state is bordered to the east and southeast first by a belt
known as the glaciated Allegheny Plateau, and then by another belt known
as the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. Most of Ohio
is of low relief, but the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau features rugged
hills and forests.
The rugged southeastern
quadrant of Ohio, stretching
in an outward bow-like arc along the Ohio river from the West
Virginia Panhandle to the outskirts of Cincinnati,
form a distinct socio-economic unit. Known somewhat erroneously as Ohio's
"Appalachian Counties" (they are actually in the Allegheny
Plateau), this area's coal mining legacy, dependence on small pockets
of old manufacturing establishments, and even distinctive regional dialect
set this section off from the rest of the state and, unfortunately,
create a limited opportunity to participate in the generally high economic
standards of Ohio.
within the state include the Cuyahoga River, Maumee River, Miami River,
Muskingum River, and Scioto River. The rivers in the northern part of
the state drain into the northern Atlantic Ocean via Lake Erie and the
St. Lawrence River, and the rivers in the southern part of the state
drain into the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and then the Mississippi.
Grand Lake St. Mary's
in the west central part of the state was constructed as a supply of
water for canals in the canal-building era of 1820–1850. For many
years this body of water, over 20 square miles, was the largest artificial
lake in the world. It should be noted that Ohio's canal-building projects
were not the economic fiasco that similar efforts were in other states.
Some cities, such as Dayton, owe their industrial
emergence to location on canals, and as late as 1910 interior canals
carried much of the bulk freight of the state.
The Ohio coast of Lake
Erie has played an important part in the history and economy of
the U.S. as a whole
the region north of the Ohio River and south of the Great Lakes, was
originally controlled by various native tribes. At the time of European
colonization, the Iroquois federation of the New
York area claimed the region including the modern territory of Ohio
as a hunting grounds. However, locally, the region was populated by
several other peoples, principally the Miamis, Wyandots, Delawares,
Shawnees, Ottawas, and Eries. During the 18th century, the French set
up a system of trading posts to control the fur trade in the region.
In 1754, France
and Great Britain fought a war known in the United
States as the French and Indian War. As a result of the Treaty of
Paris, the French ceded control of Ohio
and the old Northwest to Great Britain.
Britain soon passed
the Proclamation of 1763, which prohibited the American colonists from
settling in Ohio Country. British control of the region ended with the
American victory in the American Revolution, after which the British
ceded claims to Ohio and
the territory in the West to the Mississippi River to the United
States created the Northwest Territory in 1787 under the Northwest
Ordinance of 1787, also known as the Freedom Ordinance because for the
first time slavery would be prohibited from an entire American region.
The states of the Midwest would be known as free states, in contradistinction
to those states south of the Ohio River known as slave states, and later,
as Northeastern states abolished slavery in the coming two generations,
the free states would be known as Northern States. The Northwest Territory
originally included areas that had previously been known as Ohio Country
and Illinois Country. As Ohio
prepared for statehood, Indiana Territory was created, reducing the
Northwest Territory to the approximately the size of present-day Ohio
plus the eastern half of Michigan's
Under the Northwest
Ordinance, any of the states to be formed out of the Northwest Territory
would be admitted as a state once the population exceeded 60,000. Although
Ohio's population numbered only 45,000 in December 1801, Congress determined
that the population was growing rapidly and Ohio
could begin the path to statehood with the assumption that it would
exceed 60,000 residents by the time it would become a state. On February
19, 1803, President Jefferson signed an act of U.S. Congress that recognized
Ohio as the 17th state.
The current custom of Congress declaring an official date of statehood
did not begin until 1812, with Louisiana's
admission. So, on August 7, 1953 (the year of Ohio's 150th anniversary),
President Eisenhower signed an act that officially declared March 1,
1803 the date of Ohio's admittance into the Union.
In 1835, Ohio
fought a mostly bloodless boundary war with Michigan
over the Toledo Strip known as the Toledo War. Congress intervened,
giving the land, which included the city
of Toledo, to Ohio.
In exchange, Michigan was
given the Upper Peninsula.
the Northwest Ordinance outside Federal Hall in lower Manhattan
Law and Government
Ohio's capital is
Columbus, located close to the center of
control of the state has oscillated between the two major parties, Republicans
currently dominate state government. The governor, Bob Taft, is a Republican,
as are all other non-judicial statewide elected officials: Lieutenant
Governor of Ohio Bruce Johnson, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, Ohio
State Auditor Betty Montgomery, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell,
and Ohio State Treasurer Jennette Bradley. Both houses of the Ohio General
Assembly are also firmly in Republican control, 12 of 18 representatives
in the U.S. House of Representatives are Republicans, and both U.S.
senators, R. Michael DeWine and George V. Voinovich, are members of
the GOP. However, all of the mayors of the six largest cities in the
state (Columbus, Cleveland,
Akron, and Dayton)
Due to a close split
in party registration and historical electoral importance, Ohio
was considered a key battleground state in the 2004 U.S. Presidential
election. The state was vital to President George W. Bush's election
chances, as it is a state he won by nearly 4 points in 2000 and by the
fact that no Republican has ever been elected President without winning
Ohio. In the election,
the President won the state with 51% of the vote, giving him its 20
electoral votes and the margin he needed in the electoral college for
status as a bellwether state may soon end, as its electoral vote total
has been declining for decades. For the 2004 election, it has 20 electoral
votes, down from 21 in 2000 and down from a peak of 26 in 1968. It is
the fewest electoral votes for Ohio
since 1828, when it cast 16 electoral votes. Ohio
will cast 3.71 percent of the total electoral votes in 2004, the smallest
percentage since it cast 3.40 percent of the votes in 1820.
Political demographics and
is considered a swing state, although state politics are dominated by
Republicans. The mixture of urban and rural areas, and the presence
of both large blue-collar industries and significant white-collar commercial
districts leads to a balance of conservative and liberal population
that (together with the state's 20 electoral votes, more than most swing
states) makes the state very important to the outcome of national elections.
Ohio was the deciding state
in the 2004 presidential election between George W. Bush and John Kerry.
Bush narrowly won the state's 20 electoral votes by a margin of 2 percentage
points and 50.8% of the vote. The state supported Democrat Bill Clinton
in 1992 and 1996, but also supported Republican George Bush in 2000
and 2004. Ohio was also
a deciding factor in the 1948 presidential election when Democrat Harry
S. Truman defeated Republican Thomas Dewey (who had won the state four
years earlier) and in the 1976 presidential election when Democrat Jimmy
Carter defeated Republican Gerald Ford by a slim margin in Ohio
and took the election.
cause many to consider the state as a microcosm of the nation as a whole.
Interestingly, a Republican presidential candidate has never won the
White House without winning Ohio,
and Ohio has gone to the
winner of the election in all but two contests since 1892, backing only
losers Thomas E. Dewey in 1944 (Ohio's John Bricker was his running
mate) and Richard M. Nixon in 1960. Consequently, the state is very
important to the campaigns of both major parties. Ohio
had 20 electoral votes in the Electoral College in 2004. (See also U.S.
Electoral College.) The most solidly Democratic areas of the state are
in the northeast, including Cleveland, Youngstown, and other industrial
areas. Specifically, the core of this region includes eight counties
stretching east along Lake Erie from Erie county to the Pennsylvania
border and south to Mahoning county. Southwestern Ohio
is particularly Republican.
is known as the "Modern Mother of Presidents," having sent
eight of its native sons to the White House. Seven of them were Republicans,
and the other was a member of the Whig Party.
is a major producer of machines, tires and rubber products, steel, processed
foods, tools, and other manufactures. Although Ohio
is one of the leading industrial states, many people do not realize
how significant it is in manufacturing because Ohio
specializes in producers goods ( goods used to make other goods, such
as factory machinery, industrial chemicals, and plastic moldings). Therefore,
Ohio's products are not always visible as off-the-shelf final purchases
to the average consumer. Nevertheless, there are some Ohio
items that consumers will recognize including Procter and Gamble products,
Smuckers jams and jellies, and DayGlo.
is the site of the invention of the airplane, resulting from the experiments
of the Wright Brothers in Dayton.
While the actual production of aircraft in the USA is now centered elsewhere,
a large experimental and design facility, Wright-Patterson Air Force
Base has been located near Dayton
and serves in the co-ordination of production of US military aircraft.
On the base are located Wright Hill and Huffman Prairie, where many
of the earliest aerodynamic experiments of the Wright Brothers were
performed. Ohio today also
has many aerospace, defense, and NASA parts and systems suppliers scattered
throughout the state.
As part of the Corn
Belt, agriculture also plays an important role in the state's economy.
There is also a small commercial fishing sector on Lake Erie, and the
principal catch is yellow perch. In addition, however, Ohio's historical
attractions, varying landscapes, and recreational opportunities are
the basis for a thriving tourist industry. Over 2,500 lakes and 70,000
kilometers of river landscapes are a paradise for boaters, fishermen,
and swimmers. Of special historical interest are the Native American
archaeological sites—including grave mounds and other sites.
The Bureau of Economic
Analysis estimates that Ohio's total state product in 2003 was $403
billion. Per capital personal income in 2003 was $30,129, 25th in the
nation. Ohio's agricultural outputs are soybeans, dairy products, corn,
tomatoes, hogs, cattle, poultry and eggs. Its industrial outputs are
transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, machinery, food
processing, and electric equipment.
As of 2004, Ohio's population was estimated to
be 11,459,011 people. This includes about 390,000 foreign-born
racial makeup of the state is:
0.2% Native American
1.4% Mixed race
The 5 largest ancestry groups in Ohio
are German (25.2%), Irish (12.7%), African American (11.5%), English
(9.2%), American (8.5%).
the largest reported ancestry in most of the counties in Ohio,
especially in the northwest. Ohioans of American and British ancestry
are present throughout the state as well, particularly in the
south-central part of the state. The cities of Cleveland
are heavily black.
6.6% of Ohio's
population were reported as under 5, 25.4% under 18, and 13.3%
were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population.
is mostly Protestant. There are large numbers of Baptists, Methodists,
Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Pentecostals. Other notable Protestant
groups include the nation's largest Amish population, and the
headquarters of the United Church of Christ, which is in Cleveland.
affiliations of the people of Ohio are:
Protestant – 62%
Baptist – 15%
Methodist – 11%
Lutheran – 5%
Presbyterian – 4%
Pentecostal – 4%
United Church of Christ – 2%
Amish/Pietist – 1%
Other Protestant – 20%
Roman Catholic – 19%
Other Christian – 1%
Other Religions – 1%
Non-Religious – 16%
Important Cities and Towns
Colleges and Universities
- 13 state universities
Green State University, Bowling Green,
State University, Wilberforce, Ohio
State University, Cleveland, Ohio
- Kent State
University, Kent, Ohio
- Miami University,
- Ohio University,
- The Ohio
State University, Columbus, Ohio
State University, Portsmouth, Ohio
of Akron, Akron, Ohio
of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio
State University, Youngstown, Ohio
(note: the University
of Dayton is not one of Ohio's state universities; it is a private,
Roman Catholic university run by the Society of Mary)
- 24 state university
branch and regional campuses
- 46 liberal arts
colleges and universities
- 6 free-standing
state-assisted medical schools
College of Ohio
Ohio Universities College of Medicine
- Ohio State
University College of Medicine and Public Health
- Ohio University
College of Osteopathic Medicine
of Cincinnati College of Medicine
- Wright State
University School of Medicine
- 1 private medical
- Case Western
Reserve University School of Medicine
- 15 community
- 8 technical
- over 24 independent
Professional Sports Teams
- Major League
- Minor League
- East Coast
has a highly developed network of roads and highways. Major east-west
through routes include the Turnpike in the north, U.S. 30 a bit further
south, I-70 through Columbus
and the Appalachian Highway running from West
Virginia to Cincinnati.
Major north-south routes include I-75 in the west through Toledo,
I-71 through the middle of the state from Cleveland
(which angles westward toward Cincinnati),
and I-77 in the eastern part of the state from Cleveland
down into West Virginia.
The north-south routes except for I-75 are less important to non-local
traffic than the east-west routes because, due to the presence of Lake
Erie, they do not go through.
State animal: White-tailed
State bird: Cardinal
State capital: Columbus
State flower: Scarlet Carnation
State wildflower: Large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
State insect: Ladybird Beetle
State song: "Beautiful Ohio"
State rock song: "Hang On Sloopy"
State tree: Ohio Buckeye
State fossil: Trilobite genus Isotelus
State drink: Tomato juice
State reptile: Black racer snake
State gemstone: Ohio Flint
State motto: "With God all things are possible"
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